Tip of the Week: Field-Expedient Signalling Device

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by Jag, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. Jag

    Jag Member

    Yes, I know, you’re probably wondering why there’s two “tip-of-the-week†threads posted on the survival board within twenty-four hours of each other. Well, since college kicked off last week again, I don’t know if I’ll have time this weekend to write up another entry. So, since I had a little time today, I figured I might as well enter one or to more for you guys to enjoy. I’ll keep ‘em short, too!

    Say you were out in a wilderness area and you happen to have along a rifle and/or pistol. You unfortunately become stranded out in this area due to unforeseen circumstances (insert your choice of emergency here). Due to the prolonged nature of your situation, you are forced to use your gun to shoot an animal for food. As you walk over to your kill, you happen to look down on the ground and see your empty brass lying nearby. Following the “never waste anything in a survival situation†rule, you stoop down and pick up the brass. Pocketing it, you walk back to your kill to prepare it for dinner.

    Now, we arrive at the question: what could an empty brass case be used for in a survival situation?

    Well, I’ll give you a couple of ideas of my own, then you guys can weigh in with any other thoughts you might have. An empty brass case, believe it or not, is, by itself without any modification, a very good improvised signaling device! Can’t guess how it would be used as such? Well, remember when you were a kid and your parents told you to stop making that annoying whistling noise when you blew air across the top of your empty soda bottle? The same principle applies here! All you have to do is take the empty case, purse your lips into a slight pucker, bring the case up to the base of your bottom lip, and begin blowing gently across the top of the shell. If you modify the speed of your blowing, within a few seconds you should here a sharp whistle! I’ve tried this with a few different cartridges, and the long, narrow calibers like the .44 Remington Magnum, .38 Special, and most bottlenecked rifle cartridges seem to work the best. Wide-bodied semi-automatic pistol calibers seem to work the worst due to an insufficient channeling of the air stream at their wide mouths. In the end, you have a decent emergency whistle that you can use for signaling rescuers. Try this out yourself and see what kind of results you can get, then report back here on what you found!

    Other possible uses for empty cases are: wide-mouthed cartridges like .45 ACP can be used as makeshift thimbles in the field if you have to do emergency repairs with a needle and thread on your tent, etc., empty cases can be improvised measuring containers for administering doses of medication or for adding spices/ingredients to a meal (just be sure to measure the amount of volume a particular caliber can hold ahead of time by pouring in the necessary amount of water, dumping it into a measuring device with a known volume, and noting the measured volume for use in that caliber on a piece of paper that should be included in your survival kit for reference purposes), and, if you were to punch out the spent primer on the empty case, the shell has a convenient hole through which fishing line can be strung and the case could then be used as a fishing lure. In any survival situation, your own brain is your most powerful tool. If you can’t find exactly what you need for a given use, improvise and make up your own tool.

    I can’t wait to here your guys’ replies! If you can, be sure to experiment and include your own ingenious uses for spent brass. I’ll be doing a serious of this threads for the “tip-of-the-week†posts with different items so everyone can find different uses for single items.

    Jag 8)

    :shock: …I know, you’re probably thinking, “An empty case being used as a thimble??!??! HA, HAâ€â€¦but hey, even guys have to patch their own clothing when no one else is around to help, right?... :p
  2. Sweeper

    Sweeper Guest

    A hole punch for leather or fabric, for a bottleneck case,flatten tips and bend inward,tie 2 to end of shaft for fish spear.

  3. Placed in side metal can (spam anyone), tie to a string steched across trail for a primative proximaty alarm.
  4. Kelotravolski

    Kelotravolski Member

    I never use a thimble. I sew all the time and just take it like a man. Thimbles are for women.
  5. Make shift blade if that is all you have........ Some pressure and a flat rock I I would bet you could get a good enough edge to possibly field strip small animal. Maybe a fish??? that would be pushing it....

    Hole punch is the best idea I have seem for this they work rather well for this.

    Could also be used as a make shift signal mirror or a glint type to signal air, land, or sea.

    I would also wonder if you could make a spin whitsle by punching out the primer and attaching a string or 550 cord. Spin over your head like Crocodile Dundee......??????
  6. I thought that too until I was in the field in Hawaii and shoved a needle into my finger and had a dent on my figer nail.... through the wrong side lol. That hurt like a @@**&^$%#&(%$*&*&%*&(($&%&%(#*%&%#*#) lol
  7. dirtimdebbie

    dirtimdebbie Guest

    Flatten them, rip off the casehead, sharpen them, use them for arrowheads.